Planet Creative Commons

This page aggregates blogs from Creative Commons, CC jurisdiction projects, and the CC community. Opinions are those of individual bloggers.

Free/Low Cost Intellectual Property Statutory Supplement

James Boyle, July 26, 2014 02:52 PM   License: Attribution 3.0 Unported

Today, we are proud to announce the publication of our 2014 Intellectual Property  Statutory Supplement as a freely downloadable Open Course Book. Statutes Cover  It offers the full text of the Federal Trademark, Copyright and Patent statutes (including edits detailing the changes made by the America Invents Act.)  It also has a number of important international treaties and a  chart which compares the various types of Federal intellectual property rights — their constitutional basis, subject matter, length, exceptions and so on.You can see it here in print, or download it for free, here(I recommend right click/control clicking it and choosing “save as.”  But you can have it open in a browser window if you want.)

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Why do this?

We are motivated in part by the outrageously steep cost of legal teaching materials, (and the increasing restrictions on those materials — such as the removal of the right of first sale).    This book is intended for use with our forthcoming Intellectual Property casebook (coming in the Fall) but can also be used as a free or low cost supplement for basic Intellectual Property courses — at the college, law school or graduate school levels. Whether or not you buy it, the free download will at the very least gives you a statutory reference book for those times when internet access is unavailable, and you just need to scratch that intellectual property research itch.    The book is also available at cost of production — about $10.50 — as a handsomely covered paperback. Most of the current Intellectual Property Statutory & Treaty Supplements are $45-$50.

Is this part of some kind of trend?

We hope so.  This is the first in a series of free/low cost statutory supplements to be published by Duke’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain – aimed at all the basic classes. The goal of this project, and that of other ones such as the Berkman Center’s fascinating H20 project, is creatively to improve the pricing and access norms of the world of legal textbook publishing, while offering the flexibility and possibility for customization that unfettered  digital access provides. We hope it will provide a pleasant, restorative, competitive pressure on the commercial publishers to lower their prices and improve their digital access norms.

Why have a paper version at all?

We have heard from several colleagues, both those who ban laptops in class and those that do not, that an environmentally friendly alternative to printing out statutes and throwing them away would be desirable, particularly one that came with first sale rights!

What’s the catch?  What kinds of DRM or licensing restrictions are there?

None.  The supplement is under a CC: BY license, allowing unlimited reproduction and modification, including for commercial purposes. Of course, the underlying statutes and treaties are in the public domain.  You can use those without even providing attribution.

What formats is it available in?

PDF for now — other formats (and modular versions) coming soon.

Yes, but this is just the statutes and treaties.  Fat chance you are going to give your casebook away free too!

Actually, we are.  That will be under a CC BY, NC SA (a license that requires attribution, permits any non commercial use and tells those who modify that they must share the freedoms they were given.)   It will be free to download and also available in a low cost print version — probably around $30, given its length, which would be about $130 cheaper than the other Intellectual Property casebooks

So you are against professors who want to be paid for their work and time?

On the contrary.  In fact, one of the things we have learned in this process is how poorly both authors and students are being treated by the current system.  The authors of casebooks and statutory supplements are generally a.)  unable to give their students digital access to the very books they have just written — unless it is fettered by digital rights management b.) unable to customize the material — omitting unwanted chapters or statutes, or adding in new material on the fly c.)  and — despite the enormous, obscene prices on the books — given a relatively low share of the proceeds. We chose to keep the cost as low as possible, but we are fully aware of the labour and creativity required to put together a casebook — we are creating one right now!  Suppose a professor chose to self-publish with a print on demand service.  (We used Createspace, but there are many others.)  Suppose she wanted to create an 825 page paperback casebook; (in part because she did not need to include all those chapters she does not teach.)  Suppose she decided to price it at $60 — which would be $100 cheaper than the current casebook.  (Though those, to be fair, are both in hardcover and very large.)  Here is the screenshot of what her royalty payments would look like.  (The calculator is here.  Click the “Royalties” tab.)  And remember this is just one print on demand service.  There are many others.

Createspace Pricing

We will be honest.  We want very much to tip the norm towards free, unregulated digital access — so the whole world and not just her class can learn from her materials.  And we think $60 is a little high — though not as bad as $165!  But she could require the purchase of a paper copy, which her students could resell when the class is over, while also giving her students free digital access, and get much wider dissemination of and impact from her ideas.  Actually, we hope that the inexorable multiplication of projects such as these will be an aid to those still publishing with conventional textbook publishers. To the casebook author trapped in contracts with an existing publishing house: remember when you said you needed an argument to convince them to price your casebook and your supplement more reasonably? Or an argument to convince them to give you more options in making digital versions available to your students in addition to their print copies, but without taking away their first sale rights?  Here is one such argument.  There are many more either already out there or in the pipeline.  Traditional textbook publishers can compete with free.  But they have to try harder. We will all benefit when they do.

But what about a salesforce?  How would she be able to get others to adopt her book without mailing it to everyone or having insistent salespeople pounding the halls?

They can read it, instantly, freely anywhere, just by downloading it!  They can browse it on the exercise bike or on the train, scan through it on their tablet.  Read it in their office.  That’s much more efficient.  In the world we imagine, professors will be able instantly to browse, search within and assess the pedagogical suitability of a free digital version of a casebook online.  Perhaps this will put a merciful end to the never-ending cascade of free but unread casebooks in cardboard mailing boxes and charming but unwelcome casebook representatives in natty business suits that constitutes the 1950’s distribution mechanism for the casebook in the halls of the 21st century law school.  That mechanism needs to go the way of the whale oil merchant, the typing pool and the travel agent.  To the extent that the “justification” offered for today’s prices is that they are needed to pay for the last century’s distribution methods, we would have to disagree politely but emphatically.

How long to get an actual copy of the book?

We’ve found it takes about 5 days.  Your mileage may vary.

Back to this book.  What’s in it?  Can I have a review copy?
Download it and see.  That’s your review copy.  But here is the table of contents.

  • Introduction
  • Comparative Chart of Intellectual Property Rights
  • Trademark Act of 1946 (Lanham Act) (as amended)
  • Copyright Act of 1976 (as amended)
  • Patent Act of 1952 (as amended, with annotations indicating the provisions applicable pre and post America Invents Act)
  • Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
  • WIPO Copyright Treaty
  • Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property
  • Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)

When’s the casebook coming out?  

Late August.  But watch this space, we will be posting chapters as we go.

James Boyle, William Neal Reynolds Professor of Law Duke Law School.

Jennifer Jenkins, Director Center of the Study of the Public Domain, Senior Lecturing Fellow, Duke Law School

Persnickety Snit

James Boyle, July 25, 2014 06:17 PM   License: Attribution 3.0 Unported

This is the fourth in a series of postings of material drawn from our forthcoming, Creative Commons licensed, open coursebook on Intellectual Property.  It is about lawyers and language. 

Persnickety Linguistic Quibble

This is curmudgeonly but we cannot help ourselves. In our opinion, Computer Associates v. Altai is an excellent opinion, a brilliant example of the judicial craft.  That is something that is really hard to achieve.  But it is marred by three easily avoided linguistic errors, one of them serious. See if you can find them.

Why fuss about this? We agree that the substance is what matters. But there is a lesson to be learned here too.  Your clients are hiring someone to guide them through a confusing maze of legal principles.  If you cannot spell the word “principles” their faith – and that of the judge, partner or general counsel for whom you work – may justifiably be shaken. Word’s spellcheck will be no help because “principals” is a word, it just isn’t the word you want.  Also, “ascribe” and “refute” may not mean what you think they mean.  You do not “ascribe” to a set of views, you “subscribe” to them (though you can reasonably “ascribe” persnickety linguistic tendencies to the editors of this book) and you do not “refute” the theory of evolution merely by disagreeing with it. (“Reject,” “deny” “seek to rebut the arguments of,” “criticize,” “denounce” – such a rich language.)  We’d go further and point out that “advocate” does not require, and should not be coupled with, the preposition “for” (he “advocated the decriminalization of marijuana,” he did not “advocate for” its decriminalization, though he could have “argued for” it) but that one may be a lost battle already.  (C.f. the song 27 Jennifer’s.  Is she the “one he has been seeking for”?  No she is the one he has been “searching for.” Or “seeking” (which contains within it the “for” preposition.)  Let’s not get started on subjunctives.) While we are here, Insure your car.  Ensure that your sentences are correctly framed.  Finally, you do not “take a different tact,” (“tack”) nor do you “feel badly about” something, unless you are particularly incompetent at the feeling arts.  (“Bad.”) If people pay you to use words, use them well.

OK, thanks for indulging us on that.  For 95% of you it was annoying, we know and we’ve made those mistakes ourselves – probably in this very book – but 5% of you will stop doing it and that makes it all worthwhile.

Aanbeveling Europese Commissie: Gebruik CC-licenties voor de publieke sector informatie en data

CC Netherlands, July 25, 2014 12:33 PM   License: Naamsvermelding 3.0 Nederland

Op 17 juli heeft de Europese Commissie een aanbeveling gepubliceerd over licensering van Publieke Sector Informatie. De Commissie raadt de lidstaten van de Europese Unie aan om gestandaardiseerde open licenties te gebruiken voor het vrijgeven van Publieke Sector Informatie en gebruikt  Creative Commons-licenties expliciet als goed voorbeeld.

Logo van de Europese Commissie

Logo van de Europese Commissie

Met Creative Commons-licenties geef je aan iedereen toestemming om je materiaal te verspreiden, te delen en in sommige gevallen te bewerken. De licenties zijn internationaal toepasbaar en zorgen voor een standaard manier waarop toestemming verleend kan worden. Creative Commons-licenties zijn de de facto standaard bij het licenseren van open data en open content. De Nederlandse overheid gebruikt bijvoorbeeld al sinds 2010 Creative Commons-licenties voor rijksoverheid.nl. Ook data.overheid.nl gebruikt  al jaar en dag CC0.  In de culturele sector is het gebruik van Creative Commons-licenties standaard bij het vrijgeven van cultureel erfgoed.

De Commissie waarschuwt lidstaten voor het ontwikkelen van eigen licenties. Zelf ontwikkelde licenties zijn vaak niet compatibel met andere licenties waardoor het gelicenseerde materiaal niet te combineren is met materiaal die met andere licenties zijn vrijgegeven. Dit verlaagd de waarde van het vrijgegeven materiaal.

De aanbeveling is een welkome boodschap die hopelijk breed opgepakt wordt door de lidstaten.

2014 暑期實習生名單

CC Taiwan, July 25, 2014 11:25 AM   License: 姓名標示-相同方式分享 3.0 台灣

(依姓氏筆畫)

李佳樺

政治大學新聞系。很高興能成為「2014台灣創用CC計畫」的實習生,希望能藉由和不同專業背景的同學合作,嘗試各式型態的工作,獲得更多元的觀點和經驗。最初是在課堂上認識了創用CC授權的概念,因而開始對此議題產生興趣,期待能從這項計畫中認識公眾授權,並提升實質的策展、企劃能力。


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淺談公眾出資研究與美國FIRST法案

CC Taiwan, July 25, 2014 07:40 AM   License: 姓名標示-相同方式分享 3.0 台灣

所謂的公眾出資成果(publicly-funded)指得是,政府運用人民納稅之金錢而進行的研究、分析等產出的成果,例如,給予大學教授研究經費,而教授們的學術研究成果即屬之。

從邏輯上而言,公眾出資研究成果這類的資源應該要提供給大眾,然而,事實上這卻不是一般常見的狀況。實際上,在大眾被授權接近這些素材前通常他們需要支付多次費用。以學術期刊之發表為例,許多大學的學者接受政府的資助來開展他們的學術研究,而這些資助實則由納稅人買單,當學者完成研究並將他們發表在營利性期刊上,這些期刊雜誌業者便借由收取訂閱費用的方式回頭銷售使用接觸的管道給各大學。顯而易見的,大多人皆會認為這並非一種對大眾的投資最有效率的使用方式。這是因為這些業者希望他們的商業利益能夠永遠維持並保持其商業模式。

然而,不論從邏輯上,甚至道德觀點而言,大眾都應該要有機會接近經由其納稅的錢所資助而得之研究成果。

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Ethereum – Art Market

Rob Myers, July 25, 2014 04:07 AM   License: Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Here is a contract that allows you to register as the owner of a digital artwork contained in a particular file (identified by its cryptographic hash value) at a particular URL. The use of a URL is inspired by the excellent Monegraph, which launched shortly after I started working on Ethereum contracts for art. Monegraph uses the existing NameCoin system, which can be implemented in Ethereum as a two line contract.

This contract is longer than that as it’s recording and managing more information. It also allows you to offer the artwork for sale (in exchange for Ether, Ethereum’s built-in currency), either to a specific individual or generally, or to transfer it to a specific individual without charging them within the contract.

{
 (def 'next-record 0x10)
 (def 'RECORD-SIZE 64)
 ;; Next record position
 ;; This starts one cell above the maximum value of RipeMD
 [[next-record]] 0x10000000000000000000000000000000000000000

 (return
   0x0
   (lll
     {
      ;; Action
      ;; 0 - first cell in message
      [action] (calldataload 0)
      (when (= @action "register")
        {
         ;;TODO: Check correct message length
         ;;TODO: Check digest in range
         ;; Artwork digest
         [digest] (calldataload 32)
         ;; If already registered, don't continue
         (when @@ @digest
           (return "Arwork already registered."))
         ;; Get storage for new record
         [storage] @@next-record
         ;; Store digest
         [[@storage]] @digest
         ;; Artist account
         [storage] (+ @storage 1)
         [[@storage]] (caller)
         ;; Artist resale percentage
         [storage] (+ @storage 1)
         [[@storage]] (calldataload 64)
         ;; Artist is the current owner
         [storage] (+ @storage 1)
         [[@storage]] (caller)
         ;; Skip purchaser and price
         [storage] (+ @storage 3)
         ;; Copy over the url and description
         ;; 96 is 32 x 3 = 3rd cell in message
         [source] 96
         (for [i] 6    (< @i 64)    [i] (+ @i 1)
              {
               [[@storage]] (calldataload @source)
               [storage] (+ @storage 1)
               [source] (+ @source 32)
               })
         ;; Store digest-to-record link
         [[@digest]] @@next-record
         ;; Increment next record position
         [[next-record]] (+ @@next-record RECORD-SIZE)
         })
      (when (= @action "offer")
        {
         ;;TODO: Check correct message length
         ;;TODO: Check digest in range
         ;; Get artwork record storage for digest or stop
         ;; 32 = second cell in message
         [storage] @@(calldataload 32)
         (when (not @storage)
           (return "Artwork not registered."))
         ;; If the caller is the owner
         (when (= @@ (+ @storage 3) (caller))
           {
            ;; Offer subject
            [[(+ @storage 4)]] (calldataload 64)
            ;; Offer price
            [[(+ @storage 5)]] (calldataload 96)
            })
         })
      (when (= @action "accept")
        {
         ;;TODO: Check correct message length
         ;;TODO: Check digest in range
         ;;TODO: Error messages for bad price or buyer
         ;; Get artwork record storage for digest or stop
         ;; 32 = second cell in message
         [storage] @@(calldataload 32)
         (when (not @storage)
           (return "Artwork not registered."))
         [buyer] @@(+ @storage 4)
         [price] @@(+ @storage 5)
         ;; If the caller is the buyer and it's the correct payment
         ;; Or there's no buyer and it's the correct nonzero payment
         (when (|| (&& (= @buyer (caller))
                       (= @price (callvalue)))
                   (&& (= @buyer 0)
                       (> @price 0)))
           {
            ;; For payment
            ;; Ethereum doesn't allow fractional amounts
            ;; Warn users about making prices divisible
            [hundredth] (/ @price 100)
            [arr] @@(+ @storage 2)
            ;; Pay artist
            (call (- (gas) 250) @@(+ @storage 1) (* @hundredth @arr) 0 0 0 0)
            ;; Pay owner
            (call (- (gas) 250) @@(+ @storage 3) (* @hundredth (- 100 @arr)) 0 0 0 0)
            ;; Transfer ownership
            [[(+ @storage 3)]] (caller)
            ;; Clear offer subject and price
            [[(+ @storage 4)]] 0
            [[(+ @storage 5)]] 0
            })
         })
      }
     0x0))}

Here’s the top and the bottom of the main UI (implemented in HTML and JavaScript for the AlethZero Ethereum client).

registry1
registry3
You can enter a URL and get the cryptographic hash for it.

registry2
If the artwork has already been registered, this will show its details.

registry5
Or if not you can register it.

registry4
Once you’ve registered an artwork you are the artist of it and you also own it. You can offer any artwork you own for sale.

registry6
And you can accept a sale offer, paying the specified amount of Ether.

registry7
The UI warns you how much Ether you are about to spend.

registry8
And when you buy an artwork it lets you know when the transfer is complete.

registry9
It’s a market in allographic digital art. In contrast to the existing art market it is entirely public and transparent. And in contrast to many jurisdictions it implements the controversial “Artist’s Resale Right” in a voluntary way (in a way similar to that suggested in “The Social Lives of Artistic Property“). If it’s prohibitively difficult to experiment in the existing art market, we can make new markets for new kinds of art. Like this one.

Macaulay on Copyright

James Boyle, July 24, 2014 09:37 PM   License: Attribution 3.0 Unported

Macaulay’s 1841 speech to the House of Commons on copyright law is often cited and not much read.  In fact, the phrase “cite unseen” gains a new meaning.  That is a shame, because it is masterful.  (And funny.) One fascinating moment?  When Macaulay warns that copyright maximalism will lead to a future of rampant illegality, as all happily violate a law that is presumed to have lost all moral legitimacy.

At present the holder of copyright has the public feeling on his side. Those who invade copyright are regarded as knaves who take the bread out of the mouths of deserving men. Everybody is well pleased to see them restrained by the law, and compelled to refund their ill-gotten gains. No tradesman of good repute will have anything to do with such disgraceful transactions. Pass this law: and that feeling is at an end. Men very different from the present race of piratical booksellers will soon infringe this intolerable monopoly. Great masses of capital will be constantly employed in the violation of the law. Every art will be employed to evade legal pursuit; and the whole nation will be in the plot…  Remember too that, when once it ceases to be considered as wrong and discreditable to invade literary property, no person can say where the invasion will stop. The public seldom makes nice distinctions. The wholesome copyright which now exists will share in the disgrace and danger of the new copyright which you are about to create.

The legal change he thought would do that?  Extending copyright to the absurd length of life plus 50 years.  (It is now life plus 70).  Ah, Thomas, if only you could have been there for the Sonny Bono Term Extension debates.

This is the third in a series of postings of material drawn from our forthcoming, Creative Commons licensed, open coursebook on Intellectual Property.  The first was Victor Hugo: Guardian of the Public Domain    The second was Mark Twain on the need for perpetual copyright.  The book will be released in late August.

Thomas Babington Macaulay
First Speech to the House of Commons on Copyright

February 5, 1841

It is painful to me to take a course which may possibly be misunderstood or misrepresented as unfriendly to the interests of literature and literary men. It is painful to me, I will add, to oppose my honorable and learned friend on a question which he has taken up from the purest motives, and which he regards with a parental interest. These feelings have hitherto kept me silent when the law of copyright has been under discussion. But as I am, on full consideration, satisfied that the measure before us will, if adopted, inflict grievous injury on the public, without conferring any compensating advantage on men of letters, I think it my duty to avow that opinion and to defend it.

The first thing to be done. Sir, is to settle on what principles the question is to be argued. Are we free to legislate for the public good, or are we not? Is this a question of expediency, or is it a question of right? Many of those who have written and petitioned against the existing state of things treat the question as one of right. The law of nature, according to them, gives to every man a sacred and indefeasible property in his own ideas, in the fruits of his own reason and imagination. The legislature has indeed the power to take away this property, just as it has the power to pass an act of attainder for cutting off an innocent man’s head without a trial. But, as such an act of attainder would be legal murder, so would an act invading the right of an author to his copy be, according to these gentlemen, legal robbery.

Now, Sir, if this be so, let justice be done, cost what it may. I am not prepared, like my honorable and learned friend, to agree to a compromise between right and expediency, and to commit an injustice for the public convenience. But I must say, that his theory soars far beyond the reach of my faculties. It is not necessary to go, on the present occasion, into a metaphysical inquiry about the origin of the right of property; and certainly nothing but the strongest necessity would lead me to discuss a subject so likely to be distasteful to the House. I agree, I own, with Paley in thinking that property is the creature of the law, and that the law which creates property can be defended only on this ground, that it is a law beneficial to mankind. But it is unnecessary to debate that point. For, even if I believed in a natural right of property, independent of utility and anterior to legislation, I should still deny that this right could survive the original proprietor. . . . Surely, Sir, even those who hold that there is a natural right of property must admit that rules prescribing the manner in which the effects of deceased persons shall be distributed are purely arbitrary, and originate altogether in the will of the legislature. If so. Sir, there is no controversy between my honorable and learned friend and myself as to the principles on which this question is to be argued. For the existing law gives an author copyright during his natural life; nor do I propose to invade that privilege, which I should, on the contrary, be prepared to defend strenuously against any assailant. The only point in issue between us is, how long after an author’s death the state shall recognize a copyright in his representatives and assigns; and it can, I think, hardly be disputed by any rational man that this is a point which the legislature is free to determine in the way which may appear to be most conducive to the general good.

We may now, therefore, I think, descend from these high regions, where we are in danger of being lost in the clouds, to firm ground and clear light. Let us look at this question like legislators, and after fairly balancing conveniences and inconveniences, pronounce between the existing law of copyright, and the law now proposed to us. The question of copyright. Sir, like most questions of civil prudence, is neither black nor white, but gray. The system of copyright has great advantages and great disadvantages; and it is our business to ascertain what these are, and then to make an arrangement under which the advantages may be as far as possible secured, and the disadvantages as far as possible excluded. The charge which I bring against my honorable and learned friend’s bill is this, that it leaves the advantages nearly what they are at present, and increases the disadvantages at least fourfold.

The advantages arising from a system of copyright are obvious. It is desirable that we should have a supply of good books; we cannot have such a supply unless men of letters are liberally remunerated: and the least objectionable way of remunerating them is by means of copyright. You cannot depend for literary instruction and amusement on the leisure of men occupied in the pursuits of active life. Such men may occasionally produce compositions of great merit. But you must not look to such men for works which require deep meditation and long research. Works of that kind you can expect only from persons who make literature the business of their lives. Of these persons few will be found among the rich and the noble. The rich and the noble are not impelled to intellectual exertion by necessity. They may be impelled to intellectual exertion by the desire of distinguishing themselves, or by the desire of benefiting the community. But it is generally within these walls that they seek to signalize themselves and to serve their fellow-creatures. Both their ambition and their public spirit, in a country like this, naturally take a political turn. It is then on men whose profession is literature, and whose private means are not ample, that you must rely for a supply of valuable books. Such men must be remunerated for their literary labor. And there are only two ways in which they can be remunerated. One of those ways is patronage; the other is copyright.

There have been times in which men of letters looked, not to the public, but to the government, or to a few great men, for the reward of their exertions. It was thus in the time of Maecenas and Pollio at Rome, of the Medici at Florence, of Louis the Fourteenth in France, of Lord Halifax and Lord Oxford in this country. Now, Sir, I well know that there are cases in which it is fit and graceful, nay, in which it is a sacred duty to reward the merits or to relieve the distresses of men of genius by the exercise of this species of liberality. But these cases are exceptions. I can conceive no system more fatal to the integrity and independence of literary men than one under which they should be taught to look for their daily bread to the favor of ministers and nobles. I can conceive no system more certain to turn those minds which are formed by nature to be the blessings and ornaments of our species into public scandals and pests.

We have, then, only one resource left. We must betake ourselves to copyright, be the inconveniences of copyright what they may. Those in­con­ve­ni­ences, in truth, are neither few nor small. Copyright is monopoly, and produces all the effects which the general voice of mankind attributes to monopoly. My honorable and learned friend talks very contemptuously of those who are led away by the theory that monopoly makes things dear. That monopoly makes things dear is certainly a theory, as all the great truths which have been established by the experience of all ages and nations, and which are taken for granted in all reasonings, may be said to be theories. It is a theory in the same sense in which it is a theory that day and night follow each other, that lead is heavier than water, that bread nourishes, that arsenic poisons, that alcohol intoxicates.

If, as my honorable and learned friend seems to think, the whole world is in the wrong on this point, if the real effect of monopoly is to make articles good and cheap, why does he stop short in his career of change? Why does he limit the operation of so salutary a principle to sixty years? Why does he consent to anything short of a perpetuity? He told us that in consenting to anything short of a perpetuity he was making a compromise between extreme right and expediency. But if his opinion about monopoly be correct, extreme right and expediency would coincide. Or rather, why should we not restore the monopoly of the East India trade to the East India Company? Why should we not revive all those old monopolies which, in Elizabeth’s reign, galled our fathers so severely that, maddened by intolerable wrong, they opposed to their sovereign a resistance before which her haughty spirit quailed for the first and for the last time? Was it the cheapness and excellence of commodities that then so violently stirred the indignation of the English people? I believe. Sir, that I may safely take it for granted that the effect of monopoly generally is to make articles scarce, to make them dear, and to make them bad. And I may with equal safety challenge my honorable friend to find out any distinction between copyright and other privileges of the same kind; any reason why a monopoly of books should produce an effect directly the reverse of that which was produced by the East India Company’s monopoly of tea, or by Lord Essex’s monopoly of sweet wines. Thus, then, stands the case. It is good that authors should be remunerated; and the least exceptionable way of remunerating them is by a monopoly. Yet monopoly is an evil. For the sake of the good we must submit to the evil; but the evil ought not to last a day longer than is necessary for the purpose of securing the good.

Now, I will not affirm that the existing law is perfect, that it exactly hits the point at which the monopoly ought to cease; but this I confidently say, that the existing law is very much nearer that point than the law proposed by my honorable and learned friend. For consider this; the evil effects of the monopoly are proportioned to the length of its duration. But the good effects for the sake of which we bear with the evil effects are by no means proportioned to the length of its duration. A monopoly of sixty years produces twice as much evil as a monopoly of thirty years, and thrice as much evil as a monopoly of twenty years. But it is by no means the fact that a posthumous monopoly of sixty years gives to an author thrice as much pleasure and thrice as strong a motive as a posthumous monopoly of twenty years. On the contrary, the difference is so small as to be hardly perceptible. We all know how faintly we are affected by the prospect of very distant advantages, even when they are advantages which we may reasonably hope that we shall ourselves enjoy. But an advantage that is to be enjoyed more than half a century after we are dead, by somebody, we know not by whom, perhaps by somebody unborn, by somebody utterly unconnected with us, is really no motive at all to action. It is very probable that in the course of some generations land in the unexplored and unmapped heart of the Australasian continent will be very valuable. But there is none of us who would lay down five pounds for a whole province in the heart of the Australasian continent. We know, that neither we, nor anybody for whom we care, will ever receive a farthing of rent from such a province. And a man is very little moved by the thought that in the year 2000 or 2100, somebody who claims through him will employ more shepherds than Prince Esterhazy, and will have the finest house and gallery of pictures at Victoria or Sydney. Now, this is the sort of boon which my honorable and learned friend holds out to authors. Considered as a boon to them, it is a mere nullity; but considered as an impost on the public, it is no nullity, but a very serious and pernicious reality.

The principle of copyright is this. It is a tax on readers for the purpose of giving a bounty to writers. The tax is an exceedingly bad one; it is a tax on one of the most innocent and most salutary of human pleasures; and never let us forget, that a tax on innocent pleasures is a premium on vicious pleasures. I admit, however, the necessity of giving a bounty to genius and learning. In order to give such a bounty, I willingly submit even to this severe and burdensome tax. Nay, I am ready to increase the tax, if it can be shown that by so doing I should proportionally increase the bounty. My complaint is, that my honorable and learned friend doubles, triples, quadruples, the tax, and makes scarcely any perceptible addition to the bounty. Why, Sir, what is the additional amount of taxation which would have been levied on the public for Dr. Johnson’s works alone, if my honorable and learned friend’s bill had been the law of the land? I have not data sufficient to form an opinion. But I am confident that the taxation on his dictionary alone would have amounted to many thousands of pounds. In reckoning the whole additional sum which the holders of his copyrights would have taken out of the pockets of the public during the last half century at twenty thousand pounds, I feel satisfied that I very greatly underrate it. Now, I again say that I think it but fair that we should pay twenty thousand pounds in consideration of twenty thousand pounds’ worth of pleasure and encouragement received by Dr. Johnson. But I think it very hard that we should pay twenty thousand pounds for what he would not have valued at five shillings.

* * *

But this is not all. I think it right, Sir, to call the attention of the House to an evil, which is perhaps more to be apprehended when an author’s copyright remains in the hands of his family, than when it is transferred to booksellers. I seriously fear that, if such a measure as this should be adopted, many valuable works will be either totally suppressed or grievously mutilated. I can prove that this danger is not chimerical; and I am quite certain that, if the danger be real, the safeguards which my honorable and learned friend has devised are altogether nugatory. That the danger is not chimerical may easily be shown. Most of us, I am sure, have known persons who, very erroneously as I think, but from the best motives, would not choose to reprint Fielding’s novels or Gibbon’s “History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” Some gentlemen may perhaps be of opinion that it would be as well if “Tom Jones” and Gibbon’s “History” were never reprinted. I will not, then, dwell on these or similar cases. I will take cases respecting which it is not likely that there will be any difference of opinion here; cases, too, in which the danger of which I now speak is not matter of supposition, but matter of fact.

Take Richardson’s novels. Whatever I may, on the present occasion, think of my honorable and learned friend’s judgment as a legislator, I must always respect his judgment as a critic. He will, I am sure, say that Richardson’s novels are among the most valuable, among the most original, works in our language. No writings have done more to raise the fame of English genius in foreign countries. No writings are more deeply pathetic. No writings, those of Shakespeare excepted, show more profound knowledge of the human heart. . . . Sir, it is my firm belief, that if the law had been what my honorable and learned friend proposes to make it, they would have been suppressed.

I remember Richardson’s grandson well; he was a clergyman in the city of London; he was a most upright and excellent man; but he had conceived a strong prejudice against works of fiction. He thought all novel-reading not only frivolous but sinful. He said,—this I state on the authority of one of his clerical brethren who is now a bishop,—he said that he had never thought it right to read one of his grandfather’s books. Suppose, Sir, that the law had been what my honorable and learned friend would make it. Suppose that the copyright of Richardson’s novels had descended, as might well have been the case, to this gentleman. I firmly believe that he would have thought it sinful to give them a wide circulation. I firmly believe that he would not for a hundred thousand pounds have deliberately done what he thought sinful. He would not have reprinted them.

And what protection does my honorable and learned friend give to the public in such a case? Why, Sir, what he proposes is this: if a book is not reprinted during five years, any person who wishes to reprint it may give notice in the London Gazette: the advertisement must be repeated three times: a year must elapse; and then, if the proprietor of the copyright does not put forth a new edition, he loses his exclusive privilege. Now, what protection is this to the public? What is a new edition? Does the law define the number of copies that make an edition? Does it limit the price of a copy? Are twelve copies on large paper, charged at thirty guineas each, an edition? It has been usual, when monopolies have been granted, to prescribe numbers and to limit prices. But I do not find that my honorable and learned friend proposes to do so in the present case. And, without some such provision, the security which he offers is manifestly illusory. It is my conviction that, under such a system as that which he recommends to us, a copy of “Clarissa” would have been as rare as an Aldus or a Caxton.

I will give another instance. One of the most instructive, interesting, and delightful books in our language is Boswell’s “Life of Johnson.’’ Now it is well known that Boswell’s eldest son considered this book, considered the whole relation of Boswell to Johnson, as a blot in the escutcheon of the family. He thought, not perhaps altogether without reason, that his father had exhibited himself in a ludicrous and degrading light. And thus he became so sore and irritable that at last he could not bear to hear the “Life of Johnson’’ mentioned. Suppose that the law had been what my honorable and learned friend wishes to make it. Suppose that the copyright of Boswells “Life of Johnson” had belonged, as it well might, during sixty years, to Boswell’s eldest son. What would have been the consequence? An unadulterated copy of the finest biographical work in the world would have been as scarce as the first edition of Camden’s “Britannia.”

. . . Sir, of the kindness with which the House has listened to me, that I will not detain you longer. I will only say this, that if the measure before us should pass, and should produce one tenth part of the evil which it is calculated to produce, and which I fully expect it to produce, there will soon be a remedy, though of a very objectionable kind. Just as the absurd Acts which prohibited the sale of game were virtually repealed by the poacher, just as many absurd revenue Acts have been virtually repealed by the smuggler, so will this law be virtually repealed by piratical booksellers.

At present the holder of copyright has the public feeling on his side. Those who invade copyright are regarded as knaves who take the bread out of the mouths of deserving men. Everybody is well pleased to see them restrained by the law, and compelled to refund their ill-gotten gains. No tradesman of good repute will have anything to do with such disgraceful transactions. Pass this law: and that feeling is at an end. Men very different from the present race of piratical booksellers will soon infringe this intolerable monopoly. Great masses of capital will be constantly employed in the violation of the law. Every art will be employed to evade legal pursuit; and the whole nation will be in the plot. On which side indeed should the public sympathy be when the question is whether some book as popular as “Robinson Crusoe” or the “Pilgrim’s Progress” shall be in every cottage, or whether it shall be confined to the libraries of the rich for the advantage of the great-grandson of a bookseller who, a hundred years before, drove a hard bargain for the copyright with the author when in great distress? Remember too that, when once it ceases to be considered as wrong and discreditable to invade literary property, no person can say where the invasion will stop. The public seldom makes nice distinctions. The wholesome copyright which now exists will share in the disgrace and danger of the new copyright which you are about to create. And you will find that, in attempting to impose unreasonable restraints on the reprinting of the works of the dead, you have, to a great extent, annulled those restraints which now prevent men from pillaging and defrauding the living.

Questions:

1.)  How does Macaulay link possible private censorship and inherited interests in copyright? Why do these same concerns not arise with the author’s original private right to control reproduction?

2.)  Is copyright a matter of right or a matter of utility for Macaulay?

3.)  Why does he think copyright superior to patronage as a method of encouraging literary production? What would he think of crowdsourcing sites such as Kickstarter?

4.)  What would he think of our current copyright system?

5.)  The Bill he was discussing dealt with the possibility that publishers might “sit on their rights” and that works would become commercially unavailable, subverting copyright’s goal of access. What mechanism did the Bill have to avoid that danger? Would it be a good idea for us to have such a mechanism today?

6.)  Ever read Richardson’s novels? Hmm.

Проект змін до ЦК України від Creative Commons Ukraine

CC Ukraine, July 24, 2014 06:37 PM   License: Attribution 3.0 Unported

За авторством Токаря Сергія Глава 75 РОЗПОРЯДЖАННЯ МАЙНОВИМИ ПРАВАМИ ІНТЕЛЕКТУАЛЬНОЇ ВЛАСНОСТІ Стаття 1107. Види договорів щодо розпоряджання майновими правами інтелектуальної власності 1. Розпоряджання майновими правами інтелектуальної власності здійснюється на підставі таких договорів: 1) ліцензія на використання об’єкта права інтелектуальної власності; 2) ліцензійний договір; 3) договір про створення за замовленням і використання об’єкта права інтелектуальної власності; 4) договір [...]

Letter to Department of Education on Open Educational Resources As a Priority for Its Discretionary Grant Programs

CC USA, July 24, 2014 03:59 PM   License: Attribution 3.0 United States

department_of_educationToday, Creative Commons and Creative Commons U.S.A. are sending a letter to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan supporting the Department of Education’s (DOE) adoption of the Hewlett Foundation’s definition of Open Educational Resources, and asking the Department to require open licenses for works funded by its grants.  The full letter is available here.  An excerpt follows:

Thank you for continuing to support Open Educational Resources (OER) as an important priority the Department’s discretionary grant funding. We are especially pleased to see that the Department’s definition is now fully aligned with the definition championed by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and open education advocates in the United States and around the world:

Open educational resources (OER) means teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and repurposing by others.

A strong definition is crucial to ensure that creators and users know the legal conditions under which Department-funded materials will be made available to the public. Creative Commons licenses are the global standard for open content licensing, and are easy to understand and use.We hope that the Department will consider extending the example already set by the First in the World Program and the Department of Labor’s Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training grant program. Both of these grant programs requires grantees to share grant-funded works under open licenses. We hope that open licensing of publicly funded educational resources will be extended across all other Department of Education programs to ensure the ability to find, access, reuse, and remix publicly-funded educational materials. When publicly funded resources are openly licensed, all universities, colleges, and schools can use and revise Department-funded resources.

Download the letter (PDF).

Ethereum – Art Is…

Rob Myers, July 24, 2014 05:07 AM   License: Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Here is a contract that allows anyone to define what art is. It contains a single set of twelve statements about art. They are encoded as hexadecimal values which are interpreted as sentences in a simple subset of International Art English and displayed by the UI.

{
 ;; Constant values
 ;; Price base (wei), doubled for each definition up to DEFS-COUNT
 (def 'PRICE-BASE 10)
 ;; Add to the index to get the price base exponent
 (def 'PRICE-FACTOR-ADD 10)
 ;; Number of definitions
 (def 'DEFS-COUNT 12)
 ;; Range of values for definitions
 (def 'DEF-MIN 0x1)
 (def 'DEF-MAX 0x0F0F0F0F)

 ;; Storage locations
 (def 'artist 0x10)
 (def 'defs-base 0x100)
 (def 'theorists-base 0x200)

 ;; State
 ;; Contract owner/payee
 [[artist]] (caller)

 (return
   0x0
   (lll
     {
     [action] (calldataload 0)
      (when (= @action "set")
        {
         [index] (calldataload 32)
         [definition] (calldataload 64)
         [price] (exp PRICE-BASE (+ @index 1 PRICE-FACTOR-ADD))
         ;; If the index is in range and the caller paid enough to set it
         (when (&& (>= @definition DEF-MIN)
                   (<= @definition DEF-MAX)
                   (< @index DEFS-COUNT)
                   (= (callvalue) @price))
           {
            ;; Update definition
            [[(+ defs-base @index)]] @definition
            [[(+ theorists-base @index)]] (caller)
            (- (gas) 100) @@artist @price 0 0 0 0
            })
         })
      }
     0x0))
 }

The contract is in lll rather than Serpent this time.

Here’s what the UI looks like.
art_is1
And here’s what it looks like when a statement is being edited.
is_art2
The contract allows the statements to be edited but it costs progressively more to do so: the first costs 10 Wei, the third costs 1000 and so on. This ensures that art theorists place a value on their definition, thereby indicating how confident in and/or serious about their definition they are. The higher the value, the less likely it is to be changed by someone else. This combines art theory with behavioral economics.

Michael Carroll: “Los derechos de autor deben expirar”

CC Chile, July 23, 2014 05:30 PM   License: Atribución-NoComercial-CompartirIgual 2.0 Chile

christopher dombres

Imagen CC por Cristopher Dombres.

Esta semana, Michael Carroll, fundador y miembro del directorio de Creative Commons, habló frente al Subcomité de Tribunales, propiedad Intelectual e Internet de la Cámara de Representantes de Estados Unidos, para argumentar contra una nueva extensión de los plazos de protección de copyright.

“Desde una perspectiva económica, promover el progreso de la ciencia significa proporcionar un incentivo adecuado para que tanto el creador como los inversores en el proceso creativo obtengan una retribución razonable de su inversión. La vida del autor más 70 años es mucho más de lo necesario para alcanzar ese objetivo”, explicó.

Carroll pidió al Congreso de estadounidense volver al modo en que funcionaba la ley hasta 1978, que otorgaba a los creadores un plazo de protección inicial de 28 años y una opción de optar por un segundo período de 28 años.

Recordemos que el plazo de protección de derecho de autor en Estados Unidos es de 70 años tras la muerte del creador y ha habido presión de los grandes grupos económicos por expandirlo todavía más. Países como Chile se han visto obligados a aumentar sus plazos de protección, como resultado de las negociaciones de acuerdos de libre comercio con Estados Unidos.

Una propuesta de extensión de plazos de protección se encuentra también en los borradores del Acuerdo Transpacífico, un tratado de libre comercio multinacional liderado por Estados Unidos más once países, entre los que se encuentra Chile. Frente a esta posibilidad, Creative Commons, junto a otras importantes organizaciones como la Fundación Wikimedia e Internet Archive, enviaron una carta a los ministros y negociadores del TPP, explicando por qué una extensión de los plazos de protección de derecho de autor sería perjudicial.

“Las leyes de derecho de autor deben encontrar un equilibrio entre el incentivo a crear y, al mismo tiempo, permitir que el público use y construya a partir de esa creatividad”, explicaron a propósito de la misiva.

Más información aquí, aquí, acá y acá.

REDESIGN ME—線上共同創作和共同設計

CC Taiwan, July 23, 2014 01:57 AM   License: 姓名標示-相同方式分享 3.0 台灣

原作 / Maxim Schram 

http://opendesignnow.org/index.php/case/redesign-me-maxim-schram/

線上社群的開放設計在公司間從原本遮遮掩掩產品變成更普遍的事情。

舉例來說,荷蘭茶製造商Pickwick使用線上設計和概念社群RedesignMe.com與身為外部設計師、經銷商、消費者的觀眾互動,目標是聚集持股人的投入並引導使用者創新茶產品。他們對於一個將近3500人的社群提出挑戰 : 「創造創新、符合Pickwick的品牌價值之茶概念」。[註 : 現在redesignme.com已改成CMNTY Corporation]

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Ethereum – This Contract Is Art

Rob Myers, July 23, 2014 12:58 AM   License: Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Here is a contract that can assert that it is art.

init:
    contract.storage[1000] = "may be"

code:
    if msg.data[0] == "toggle":
        if contract.storage[1000] == "is":
            contract.storage[1000] = "is not"
        else:
            contract.storage[1000] = "is"

It toggles its status as art when sent a message instructing it to do so.

Here’s what the UI for the contract looks like:

is1

Here it is while the artistic state of the contract is being toggled:

is2

And here it is after being toggled:
is3
Anyone can change the contract from not being art to being art (and vice versa). We’ll look at a more advanced contract that uses behavioural economics to address this next.

“Why Open?” course now open for sign-up

Creative Commons, July 22, 2014 10:04 PM   License: Attribution 3.0 Unported

Project 365 #303: 301009 Blink And You'll Miss It!
Project 365 #303: 301009 Blink And You’ll Miss It! / Pete / CC BY

Another run of School of Open courses is starting up in August, September and October! The first course to kick things off is a second iteration of “Why Open?” “Why Open?” was collaboratively developed and facilitated one year ago in August 2013; now the facilitators are back to run it a second time from 10 August to 5 September 2014. What is “Why Open?” From its About page,

Why Open? What does open mean? Does it mean free? Does it mean without restriction? What is the role of the producer? What is the role of the consumer? Why is open important? How does open relate to you and your area of expertise?

In this course, we will discuss and answer these questions. With your help, we will explore the different meanings of open in various contexts as well as its benefits and issues. Participants will use open practices to complete a series of open activities that builds into a final project.

Facilitators include Christina Hendricks (Philosophy lecturer at the University of British Columbia), Simeon Oriko (School of Open Kenya Initiative), Jeanette Lee (English lit and writing teacher), and myself.

Read more about the course over at the School of Open blog.

Sign-up is open now through 10 August; to join, simply click the ‘Start Course’ button on the lower left of the course page.

EU commission to member states: Use Open Definition compliant licenses for your Public Sector Information

Communia Association, July 22, 2014 03:58 PM   License: CC0 1.0 Universal

Last week the European Commision published Guidelines on recommended standard licences, datasets and charging for the re-use of documents. These Guidelines are intended to help member states with the implementation of the amended Public Sector Information directive that was adopted last year. With these guidelines the Commission hopes to provide ‘reference material for all institutions in all EU countries, in order to align their practices and make them more transparent and predictable for potential re-users’.

The guidelines put a lot of emphasis on the legal aspects of PSI. As part of this the Commission highlights the fact that not all documents need to be licensed, especially those that are in the Public Domain:

A simple notice (e.g. the Creative Commons public domain mark) clearly indicating legal status is specifically recommended for documents in the public domain (e.g. where IPR protection has expired or in jurisdictions where official documents are exempt from copyright protection by law).

In addition to this important clarification the Commission also provides clear recommendations for the use of open licenses:

Several licences that comply with the principles of ‘openness’ described by the Open Knowledge Foundation to promote unrestricted re-use of online content, are available on the web. They have been translated into many languages, centrally updated and already used extensively worldwide. Open standard licences, for example the most recent Creative Commons (CC) licences (version 4.0), could allow the re-use of PSI without the need to develop and update custom-made licences at national or sub-national level. Of these, the CC0 public domain dedication is of particular interest. As a legal tool that allows waiving copyright and database rights on PSI, it ensures full flexibility for re-users and reduces the complications associated with handling numerous licences, with possibly conflicting provisions. If the CC0 public domain dedication cannot be used, public sector bodies are encouraged to use open standard licences appropriate to a member state’s own national intellectual property and contract law and that comply with the recommended licensing provisions set out below.

This recommendation for the use of Open Definition compliant licenses and tools shows that the Commission has clearly understood concerns about license fragmentation that COMMUNIA and others had raised during during the legislative process that lead to the amendment of the PSI directive. In our 2012 policy paper on the proposal to amend the PSI Directive we had noted:

Instead of encouraging member states to develop and use open government licenses such as those that are currently used by the governments of the United Kingdom and France, the Commission should consider advocating the use of a single open license that can be applied across the entire European Union.

Such licenses do exist and are widely used by a broad spectrum of data and content providers. [...] COMMUNIA therefore advises the Commission to consider using an existing open license that complies with the Definition of Free Cultural Works as a pan European standard license for Public Sector Information. Appropriate licenses include the Creative Commons Zero Universal Public Domain Dedication (CC0) or the widely used Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY).

Lets hope that member states and public sector bodies will follow these recommendations and that the trend towards license fragmentation that accompanied the beginning of the open data movement has abated. In this respect it is encouraging that the list of Open Definition conformant licenses is still relatively short and only contains two licenses that have been developed specifically for a national government.

Why the Open Internet Matters for Creative Commons Users and the Public

CC USA, July 21, 2014 07:20 PM   License: Attribution 3.0 United States

nn300x200Last week, CCUSA submitted a comment to the Federal Communications Commission on Net Neutrality.  The full comments, by Michael Carroll and Meredith Jacob, are available here as a PDF.

Creative Commons users in the United States deserve to have the content they create be available over the Internet on the same basis and at the same data rates as content owned or controlled by large commercial interests with the ability to negotiate special terms of Internet access. While CC licenses are used by many large organizations (see http://creativecommons.org/who-uses-cc ), many creators of CC-licensed material are small or independent creators, or are creators producing content as part of a non-profit or publicly funded project. One of the specific benefits of CC licenses is that they allow individual creators to remove copyright barriers to the greatest possible public dissemination of their work.

A level playing field, in the form of net neutrality and a free and open Internet is essential to further this goal.

Wattpad upgrades to Version 4.0 of CC licenses

Creative Commons, July 21, 2014 03:23 PM   License: Attribution 3.0 Unported

Fiction-writing community Wattpad has upgraded to the Creative Commons Version 4.0 licenses and unveiled several improvements to its CC implementation. As of today, there are 300,000 CC-licensed stories on Wattpad, making this one of the largest adoptions of Version 4.0 to date.

From the press release: (72 KB PDF)

“The biggest question facing new writers today isn’t how to protect their work; it’s how to find a readership for it, said Cory Doctorow, science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger. “It makes complete sense that so many Wattpad writers are gravitating toward Creative Commons licenses: by giving others permission to share your writing, you can open doors to new audiences and new creative opportunities.” Cory Doctorow has shared five stories on Wattpad under CC licenses, including New York Times best-selling novels Homeland and Little Brother. Today, to coincide with the roll out of CC 4.0, he will share his first novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom on Wattpad.

“All knowledge and culture owes something to what came before it – it’s this public commons of ideas that forms the foundation of our society,” said Creative Commons CEO Ryan Merkley. “I’m excited that the Wattpad community will have Creative Commons’ simple, free tools to share their work, to re-use the works of others, and to contribute to the global creative community.”

Read the full press release and find more information in Wattpad’s announcement. Congratulations to Wattpad and its community of 30 million writers and readers!

Publieke Consultatie Vertaling 4.0 Licenties

CC Netherlands, July 21, 2014 03:21 PM   License: Naamsvermelding 3.0 Nederland

Eind vorig jaar heeft Creative Commons de nieuwste versie van zijn licenties gelanceerd. Deze licenties zijn het resultaat van een intensieve publieke consultatie die vanaf 2011 liep. Na de lancering van de licenties zijn Creative Commons Nederland en Creative Commons België begonnen deze licenties Linguïstische te vertalen naar het Nederlands. Voordat deze vertalingen officieel erkend kunnen worden vragen wij in een publieke consultatie om feedback.

cc40-itshere-275

Deze feedback is essentieel voor de nieuwe versie van de Creative Commons-licenties. Het is nadrukkelijk de bedoeling om licenties aan te bieden die iedereen kan lezen en begrijpen. Daar hebben we input voor nodig van mensen die de licenties gebruiken. Dit is hèt moment om onduidelijkheden aan te stippen! Door goede leesbare Nederlandse vertalingen kan Creative Commons meer mensen bereiken.

De publieke consultatie zal lopen vanaf maandag 21 juli 2014 tot 1 september 2014. Tijdens en na deze periode zullen we reageren op alle feedback en opmerkingen. Hierna bereiden wij een definitief voorstel voor dat Creative Commons Nederland en Creative Commons België gezamenlijk naar Creative Commons International zal sturen, waar het nog een laatste keer bekeken wordt voordat de vertaling officieel wordt.

Meedoen

Meedoen is makkelijk. Bekijk de conceptvertalingen en geef aan wat je ervan vindt. Als je feedback wilt geven op de conceptvertalingen of als je niet precies weet hoe Google Docs werkt dan kan je deze handleiding volgen.

Mocht je vragen hebben over de manier waarop je kunt helpen, of een algemene vraag hebt over de 4.0 licenties – stuur een mail naar info@creativecommons.nl.

Przegląd linków CC #141

CC Poland, July 21, 2014 07:14 AM   License: Uznanie autorstwa 2.5 Polska

Otwarta edukacja i kultura

1. E-podręcznikom (nie tylko otwartym) poświęcone były dwie ostatnie audycje Człowiek 2.0 w radiu TokFM (do odsłuchania w archiwum).

2. Projekt OER Policy opublikował raport na temat wyłączeń i wyjątków edukacyjnych w prawie autorskim w Europie. Raport aut. Teresy Nobre, prawniczki Creative Commons Portugalia opisuje zróżnicowane problemy i brak kompatybilności między 49 krajami UE w zakresie tego jak prawo autorskie reguluje i ogranicza pracę nauczycieli i autorów edukacyjnych.
OER Policy copyright exemptions report

3. Kontynuując wątek z ostatnich tygodni na temat polityk i modeli wdrażania otwartych zasobów edukacyjnych na skalę masową warto zajrzeć na blog Open Content. David Wiley pisze o konieczności otwierania również infrastruktury, z której korzysta się do hostowania, dostarczania i prezentowania otwartych zasobów.

4. Kalifornijski start-up OpenEd.io zebrał 2 mln. dolarów od inwestorów na rozwój katalogu i serwisu rekomendującego otwarte zasoby edukacyjne. https://www.edsurge.com/n/2014-07-15-opened-raises-2m-to-make-smart-recommendations-for-free-educational-resources

5. Fundacja Hewlettów, od lat wspierająca ruch i projekty otwartych zasobów edukacyjnych na całym świecie ogłosiła swój kolejny krok w tym kierunku, jest to wymóg dla wszystkich grantobiorców programu edukacyjnego używania licencji Creative Commons 4.0.

6. The Open Education Challenge, konkurs dla edukacyjnych start-upów zorganizowany przez Komisję Europejską wyłonił dziewięć zwycięskich projektów, z których każdy otrzyma 20 000 euro oraz wsparcie w fazie początkowej.

7. W artykule naukowym OER adoption: a continuum for practice, Adrian Stagg z Uniwersytetu w Queensland (Australia) przedstawia ważną koncepcję stałego rozwoju i praktycznego wdrażania otwartych zasobów edukacyjnych przez praktyków jako odmiennego procesu od powszechnie dyskutowanej aktualnie adopcji (bardziej pasywnego wdrażania OZE).

Otwarta nauka

8. Pięć lat od uruchomienia repozytorium instytucjonalnego na Uniwersytecie Harvarda posiada ono ponad 20 000 publikacji i doliczyło się już blisko 3,5 miliona pobrań recenzowanych publikacji.

9. Jeśli chcecie dowiedzieć się więcej o tym czym jest i jak jest rozumiana otwarta nauka to polecamy wpis i dane z badań Benedikta Fecher’a i Saschy Friesike na blogu London School of Economics. Autorzy analizując literaturę na temat otwartej nauki wyróżniają m.in. jej elementy edukacyjne, efektywności naukowej i polityczne.

10. Projekt Open Access Button, który chce mapować zamknięte artykuły naukowe i ich alternatywne miejsca, gdzie są dostępne w otwartym modelu ogłosił współpracę z Cottage Labs, które mają duże doświadczenie w informatycznym wsparciu ot wartościowych projektów + OA Button na swoim blogu również prowadzi przegląd linków!

11. GitHub jako narzędzie dla naukowców? Nie tylko tych programujących ale również piszących zespołowo artykuły, więcej na blogu Zenf.

12. Double – blind peer review (obustronnie anonimowa recenzja), a proces eliminowania nierówności społecznych w naukach ścisłych na łamach Nature.

Otwarte zasoby

13. Ek Mukta to zestaw otwartych fontów indyjskiego pisma devanagari, które do tej pory nie posiadało niekomercyjnych, dostosowanych do użytkowania w sieci czcionek.

14. Mazawi to mały serwis oferujący świetne, wysokiej rozdzielczości nagrania wideo, profesjonalnie wyprodukowane i do dowolnego wykorzystania (na licencji CC BY).

Prawo

15. Komisja Europejska opublikowała zestaw rekomendacji i dobrych praktyk na temat ponownego wykorzystania danych sektora publicznego.

Inne ważne wiadomości

16. Jeśli chodzi o elektroniczne książki wydawane przez niezależnie od dużych firm i wydawnictw to te bez zabezpieczeń technicznych (DRM – Digital Rights Management) sprzedają się dwukrotnie lepiej niż tez DRM-ami.

 

European Commission endorses CC licenses as best practice for public sector content and data

CC Luxembourg, July 21, 2014 05:57 AM   License: Paternité 3.0 Luxembourg

 (from the Creative Commons blog)

Today the European Commission released licensing recommendations to support the reuse of public sector information in Europe. In addition to providing guidance on baseline license principles for public sector content and data, the guidelines suggest that Member States should adopt standardized open licenses – such as Creative Commons licenses:

Several licences that comply with the principles of ‘openness’ described by the Open Knowledge Foundation to promote unrestricted re-use of online content, are available on the web. They have been translated into many languages, centrally updated and already used extensively worldwide. Open standard licences, for example the most recent Creative Commons (CC) licences (version 4.0), could allow the re-use of PSI without the need to develop and update custom-made licences at national or sub-national level. Of these, the CC0 public domain dedication is of particular interest. As a legal tool that allows waiving copyright and database rights on PSI, it ensures full flexibility for re-users and reduces the complications associated with handling numerous licences, with possibly conflicting provisions.

The Commission’s recommendations warn against the the development of customized licenses, which could break interoperability of public sector information across the EU. The guidelines clearly state that license conditions should be standardized and contain minimal requirements (such as attribution-only).

In order to proactively promote the re-use of the licenced material, it is advisable that the licensor grants worldwide (to the extent allowed under national law), perpetual, royalty-free, irrevocable (to the extent allowed under national law) and non-exclusive rights to use the information covered by the licence… it is advisable that [licenses] cover attribution requirements only, as any other obligations may limit licensees’ creativity or economic activity, thereby affecting the re-use potential of the documents in question.

This is a welcome outcome that will hopefully provide a clear path for data providers and re-users. It’s great to see this endorsement after our efforts alongside our affiliate network to advocate for clear best practices in sharing of content and data. The recommendation benefits from CC’s free international 4.0 licenses, saving governments time and money, and maximizing compatibility and reuse.

Kudos to the Commission and the assistance provided by LAPSI, Open Knowledge, and others.

(Source: https://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/43316)

2014年度夏学期も東京大学学際情報学府にて「デジタル時代の著作権とオープン化」の授業を担当します

CC Japan, July 20, 2014 09:58 AM   License: 表示 2.1 日本

2010年度から行っている東京大学「デジタル時代の著作権とオープン化」という授業を、2014年度もクリエイティブ・コモンズ・ジャパンの野口祐子と渡辺智暁で担当します。

2010年度、2011年度は「実践情報社会論」という名前で実施されていた本講座は、2012年度からは「デジタル・ヒューマニティ―ズ」プログラムのうちの関連科目の一つとなり、主に大学院の学生が履修する講座となっています。

今回も、授業のスライドを可能な範囲でアップしていきます!

第1回:クラス・ディスカッション 文化を支えるインセンティブ制度をどう設計するか?

担当:野口

資料

第2回:講義 著作権基礎1

担当:野口

資料

第3回:講義 著作権基礎2

担当:野口

資料

第4回

担当:田中辰夫先生

第5回:クラスディスカッション ライセンス1 コモンズ形成の力学?

担当:渡辺

資料

宿題

第8回:講義 孤児著作物

担当:野口

資料

第9回:クラスディスカッション オープンデータ編 オープン化の功罪

担当:渡辺

資料

宿題

第10回:クラスディスカッション ジャーナリズム編

担当:渡辺

資料

第11回:クラスディスカッション オープン教育について

担当:渡辺

資料

第12回:総括

担当:野口

Mark Twain on the Need for Perpetual Copyright

James Boyle, July 19, 2014 01:26 PM   License: Attribution 3.0 Unported

This is the second in a series of postings of material drawn from our forthcoming, Creative Commons licensed, open coursebook on Intellectual Property.  The first was Victor Hugo: Guardian of the Public Domain The book will be released in late August.

In 1906, Samuel Clemens (who we remember better by his pen name Mark Twain) addressed Congress on the reform of the Copyright Act.  Delicious.

Statement Of Mr. Samuel L. Clemens  before the Committee of Patents of the Senate and House, to discuss amending the Copyright Act (1906)

Mr. Clemens. I have read the bill. At least I have read such portions of it as I could understand; and indeed I think no one but a practiced legislator can read the bill and thoroughly understand it, and I am not a practiced legislator. I have had no practice at all in unraveling confused propositions or bills. Not that this is more confused than any other bill. I suppose they are all confused. It is natural that they should be, in a legal paper of that kind, as I understand it. Nobody can understand a legal paper, merely on account of the language that is in it. It is on account of the language that is in it that no one can understand it except an expert.

Necessarily I am interested particularly and especially in the part of the bill which concerns my trade. I like that bill, and I like that extension from the present limit of copyright life of forty-two years to the author’s life and fifty years after. I think that will satisfy any reasonable author, because it will take care of his children. Let the grandchildren take care of themselves. “Sufficient unto the day.” That would satisfy me very well. That would take care of my daughters, and after that I am not particular. I shall then long have been out of this struggle and independent of it. Indeed, I like the whole bill. It is not objectionable to me. Like all the trades and occupations of the United States, ours is represented and protected in that bill. I like it. I want them to be represented and protected and encouraged. They are all worthy, all important, and if we can take them under our wing by copyright, I would like to see it done. I should like to have you encourage oyster culture and anything else. I have no illiberal feeling toward the bill. I like it. I think it is just. I think it is righteous, and I hope it will pass without reduction or amendment of any kind.

I understand, I am aware, that copyright must have a term, must have a limit, because that is required by the Constitution of the United States, which sets aside the earlier constitution, which we call the Decalogue. The Decalogue says that you shall not take away from any man his property. I do not like to use the harsher term, “Thou shalt not steal.”

But the laws of England and America do take away property from the owner. They select out the people who create the literature of the land. Always talk handsomely about the literature of the land. Always say what a fine, a great monumental thing a great literature is. In the midst of their enthusiasm they turn around and do what they can to crush it, discourage it, and put it out of existence. I know that we must have that limit. But forty-two years is too much of a limit. I do not know why there should be a limit at all. I am quite unable to guess why there should be a limit to the possession of the product of a man’s labor. There is no limit to real estate. As Doctor Hale has just suggested, you might just as well, after you had discovered a coal mine and worked it twenty-eight years, have the Government step in and take it away—under what pretext?

The excuse for a limited copyright in the United States is that an author who has produced a book and has had the benefit of it for that term has had the profit of it long enough, and therefore the Government takes the property, which does not belong to it, and generously gives it to the eighty-eight millions. That is the idea. If it did that, that would be one thing. But it does not do anything of the kind. It merely takes the author’s property, merely takes from his children the bread and profit of that book, and gives the publisher double profit. The publisher, and some of his confederates who are in the conspiracy, rear families in affluence, and they continue the enjoyment of these ill-gotten gains generation after generation. They live forever, the publishers do.

As I say. this limit is quite satisfactory to me—for the author’s life, and fifty years after. In a few weeks, or months, or years I shall be out of it. I hope to get a monument. I hope I shall not be entirely forgotten. I shall subscribe to the monument myself. But I shall not be caring what happens if there is fifty years’ life of my copyright. My copyrights produce to me annually a good deal more money than I have any use for. But those children of mine have use for that. I can take care of myself as long as I live. I know half a dozen trades, and I can invent a half a dozen more. I can get along. But I like the fifty years’ extension, because that benefits my two daughters, who are not as competent to earn a living as I am, because I have carefully raised them as young ladies, who don’t know anything and can’t do anything. So I hope Congress will extend to them that charity which they have failed to get from me.

Why, if a man who is mad —not mad, but merely strenuous—about race suicide should come to me and try to get me to use my large political or ecclesiastical influence for the passage of a bill by this Congress limiting families to 22 children by one mother, I should try to calm him down. I should reason with him. I should say to him, “That is the very parallel to the copyright limitation by statute. Leave it alone. Leave it alone and it will take care of itself.” There is only one couple in the United States that can reach that limit. Now, if they reach that limit let them go on. Make the limit a thousand years. Let them have all the liberty they want. You are not going to hurt anybody in that way. Don’t cripple that family and restrict it to 22 children. In doing so you are merely offering this opportunity for activity to one family per year in a nation of eighty millions. It is not worth the while at all.

The very same with copyright. One author per year produces a book which can outlive the forty-two year limit, and that is all. This nation can not produce two authors per year who can create a book that will outlast forty-two years. The thing is demonstrably impossible. It can not be done. To limit copyright is to take the bread out of the mouths of the children of that one author per year, decade, century in and century out. That is all you get out of limiting copyright.

I made an estimate once when I was to be called before the copyright committee of the House of Lords, as to the output of books, and by my estimate we had issued and published in this country since the Declaration of Independence 220.000 books. What was the use of protecting those books by coypright? They are all gone. They had all perished before they were 10 years old. There is only about one book in a thousand that can outlive forty-two years of copyright. Therefore why put a limit at all? You might just as well limit a family to 22. It will take care of itself. If you try to recall to you minds the number of men in the nineteenth century who wrote books in America which books lived forty-two years you will begin with Fennimore Cooper, follow that with Washington Irving, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Edgar A. Poe, and you will not go far until you begin to find that the list is limited.

You come to Whittier and Holmes and Emerson, and you find Howells and Thomas Bailey Aldrich, and then the list gets pretty thin and you question if you can find 20 persons in the United States in a whole century who have produced books that could outlive or did outlive the forty-two year limit. You can take all the authors in the United States whose books have outlived the forty-two year limit and you can seat them on one bench there. Allow three children to each of them, and you certainly can put the result down at 100 persons. Add two or three more benches. You have plenty of room left. That is the limit of the insignificant number whose bread and butter are to be taken away. For what purpose?  For what profit to anybody? Nobody can tell what that profit is. It is only those books that will outlast the forty-two-year limit that have any value after ten or fifteen years. The rest are all dead. Then you turn those few books into the hands of the pirate—into the hands of the legitimate publisher—and they go on, and they get the profit that properly should have gone to wife and children. I do not think that is quite right. I told you what the idea was in this country for a limited copyright.

The English idea of copyright, as I found, was different, when I was before the committee of the House of Lords, composed of seven members I should say. The spokesman was a very able man, Lord Thring, a man of great reputation, but he didn’t know anything about copyright and publishing. Naturally he didn’t, because he hadn’t been brought up to this trade. It is only people who have had intimate personal experience with the triumphs and griefs of an occupation who know how to treat it and get what is justly due.

Now that gentleman had no purpose or desire in the world to rob anybody or anything, but this was the proposition—fifty years’ extension—and he asked me what I thought the limit of copyright ought to be.

“Well,” I said, ” perpetuity.” I thought it ought to last forever.

Well, he didn’t like that idea very much. I could see some resentment in his manner, and he went on to say that the idea of a perpetual copyright was illogical, and so forth, and so on. And here was his reason—for the reason that it has long ago been decided that ideas are not property, that there can be no such thing as property in ideas.…That there could be no such thing as property in an intagible idea. He said, “What is a book? A book is just built from base to roof with ideas, and there can be no property in them.”  I said I wished he could mention any kind of property existing on this planet, property that had a pecuniary value, which was not derived from an idea or ideas.

“Well,” he said, ” landed estate—real estate.”

“Why,” I said, “Take an assumed case, of a dozen Englishmen traveling through the South—Africa—they camp out; eleven of them see nothing at all; they are mentally blind. But there is one in the party who knows what that harbor means, what this lay of the land means; to “him it means that some day—you can not tell when—a railway will come through here, and there on that harbor a great city will spring up. That is his idea. And he has another idea, which is to get a trade, and so, perhaps, he sacrifices his last bottle of Scotch whisky and gives a horse blanket to the principal chief of that region and buys a piece of land the size of Pennsylvania. There is the value of an idea applied to real estate. That day will come, as it was to come when the Cape-to-Cairo Railway should pierce Africa and cities should be built, though there was some smart person who bought the land from the chief and received his everlasting gratitude, just as was the case with William Penn, who bought for $40 worth of stuff the area of Pennsylvania. He did a righteous thing. We have to be enthusiastic over it, because that was a thing that never happened before probably. There was the application of an idea to real estate. Every improvement that is put upon real estate is the result of an idea in somebody’s head. A skyscraper is another idea. The railway was another idea. The telephone and all those things are merely symbols which represent ideas. The washtub was the result of an idea. The thing hadn’t existed before. There is no property on this earth that does not derive pecuniary value from ideas and association of ideas applied and applied and applied again and again and again, as in the case of the steam engine. You have several hundred people contributing their ideas to the improvement and the final perfection of that great thing, whatever it is—telephone, telegraph, and all.”

So if I could have convinced that gentleman that a book which does consist solely of ideas, from the base to the summit, then that would have been the best argument in the world that it is property, like any other property, and should not be put under the ban of any restriction, but that it should be the property of that man and his heirs forever and ever, just as a butcher shop would be, or—I don’t care—anything, I don’t care what it is. It all has the same basis. The law should recognize the right of perpetuity in this and every other kind of property. But for this property I do not ask that at all. Fifty years from now I shall not be here. I am sorry, but I shall not be here. Still, I should like to see it.

Of course we have to move by slow stages. When a great event happens in this world, like that of 1714, [sic] under Queen Anne, it stops everything, but still, all the world imagines there was an element of justice in that act. They do not know why they imagine it, but it is because somebody else has said so. And that process must continue until our day, and keep constantly progressing on and on. First twenty-eight years was added, and then a renewal for fourteen years; and then you encountered Lord Macaulay, who made a speech on copyright when it was going to achieve a life of sixty years which reduced it to forty years—a speech that was read all over the world by everybody who does not know that Lord Macaulay did not know what he was talking about. So he inflicted this disaster upon his successors in the authorship of books. It has to undergo regular and slow development—evolution.

Here is this bill, one instance of it. Make the limit the author’s life and fifty years after, and, as I say, fifty years from now they will see that that has not convulsed the world at all. It has not destroyed any San Francisco. No earthquakes concealed in it anywhere. It has changed nobody. It has merely fed some starving author’s children. Mrs. Stowe’s [Harriet Beacher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin] two daughters were close neighbors of mine, and—well, they had their living very much limited…

I say again, as I said in the beginning, I have no enmities, no animosities toward this bill. This bill is plenty righteous enough for me. I like to see all these industries and arts propagated and encouraged by this bill. This bill will do that, and I do hope that it will pass and have no deleterious effect. I do seem to have an extraordinary interest in a whole lot of arts and things. The bill is full of those that I have nothing to do with. But that is in line with my generous, liberal nature. I can’t help it. I feel toward those same people the same sort of charity of the man who arrived at home at 2 o’clock in the morning from the club. He was feeling perfect satisfaction with life—was happy, was comfortable. There was his house weaving and weaving and weaving around. So he watched his chance, and by and by when the steps got in his neighborhood he made a jump and he climbed up on the portico. The house went on weaving. He watched his door, and when it came around his way he climbed through it. He got to the stairs, went up on all fours. The house was so unsteady he could hardly make his way, but at last he got up and put his foot down on the top step, but his toe hitched on that step, and of course he crumpled all down and rolled all the way down the stairs and fetched up at the bottom with his arm around the newel post, and he said, “God pity a poor sailor out at sea on a night like this.”

The committee adjourned until 10 o’clock a. m. to-morrow

 

Notes

Samuel Clemens gives a robust argument for perpetual copyright – for the idea that the book is the author’s, not by utilitarian privilege but by right – and he neatly flips today’s assumptions about term extension on their heads.  But he is also hilariously cynical, perhaps mindful of the fact that the legislators to whom his words are addressed might be familiar with his prior pronouncements about both them and the law they were considering. “It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.” “Whenever a copyright law is to be made or altered, then the idiots assemble.”  “Only one thing is impossible for God: to find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.”  He is particularly pointed in attacking the compromises with which any copyright bill is loaded – the special provisions that gave American printers special rights to print the books (and thus the unions a strong barrier against foreign competition), that gave libraries certain privileges, indeed that allowed the expiration of copyright at all.  All these compromises, from his point of view, are simply takings from authors for the benefit of activities that have little or nothing to do with their art. He even waxes a little absurdist about it.  “Like all the trades and occupations of the United States, ours [that of the actual author] is represented and protected in that bill. I like it. I want them to be represented and protected and encouraged. They are all worthy, all important, and if we can take them under our wing by copyright, I would like to see it done. I should like to have you encourage oyster culture and anything else…. I do seem to have an extraordinary interest in a whole lot of arts and things. The bill is full of those that I have nothing to do with. But that is in line with my generous, liberal nature.”   The committee members, eager to shower other celebrities such as John Philip Sousa with questions, offered none after his remarks.  Clemens was an old lion – he speaks of his own awareness of mortality in his remarks, and he in fact had only four more years to live – but he still had teeth and his zingers might have ended up on the front page of the New York Times. And so after his remarks… the committee quietly adjourned.

Questions:

1.)  Clemens has obviously read Macaulay.  On what do they disagree?

2.)  He argues that taking away his copyright is as unjust as the government taking away his mine after a certain period of time, saying he had already reaped enough benefit from it Do you agree?  What differences do you see?  How would Jefferson and Macaulay respond?  Would Hugo agree?

3.)  Clemens argues that there would be no real negative effects of term extension because he notes (correctly) that very, very few works retain any commercial value after 42 years.  He was arguing there for a “life plus fifty” system which did not in fact get enacted until 1976.  We now have a life plus seventy system.  Is he right that there have been no negative consequences?

第一份CC0官方翻譯版本誕生於荷蘭!

CC Taiwan, July 19, 2014 01:11 AM   License: 姓名標示-相同方式分享 3.0 台灣

CC0 (公眾領域貢獻宣告)是Creative Commons於2009年時推出的一項工具,他的設計是使創作者得以貢獻他們的作品成為公眾領域的內容,所憑藉的方式即是由權利人(即宣告者)放棄所有的著作權、著作鄰接權及相關的權利,亦即最大範圍的放棄法律所給予的權利。至於若該拋棄因任何理由而無效,則CC0會成為宣告者(使用CC0此一工具者)所為之准許公眾無條件、不可撤回、非專屬以及為人何目的而無償使用的授權。

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Victor Hugo: Guardian of the Public Domain

James Boyle, July 18, 2014 10:50 PM   License: Attribution 3.0 Unported

Jennifer Jenkins and I are frantically working to put together a new open casebook on Intellectual Property Law.  (It will be available, in beta version, this Fall under a CC license, and freely downloadable in multiple formats of course.  Plus it should sell in paper form for about $130 less than the competing casebooks. The accompanying statutory supplement will be 1/5  the price of most statutory supplements — also freely downloadable.)  More about that later.  While assembling the materials for a casebook, one gets to revisit the archives, reread the great writers.  Today I was revisiting Victor Hugo.  Hugo was a fabulous — inspiring, passionate — proponent of the rights of authors, and the connection of those rights to free expression and free ideas. He went beyond giving speeches to play a serious role in setting up the current international copyright system.  He is held out today as the ultimate proponent of the droits d’auteur — the person who said (and he did) that the author’s right was the most sacred form of property: unlike other property rights it impoverished no one, because it was over something that was entirely new.  (Think of Locke and his point that all property took from the common store.  Not so with copyright, said Hugo)  But Hugo was a more subtle fellow than that and his views are not what you may have been told they were.  I decided to translate his speech to the Congress of Literary, Industrial and Artistic Property in Paris in 1878.  (There’s probably a better translation out there — I just couldn’t find it.) And I was struck, as if for the first time, by what he said about the need to create a system that respected not just the rights of authors. but the public’s rights, the public’s ownership of the public domain.

Victor Hugo, guardian of the public domain and a proponent of the exact kind of right of the public to the public domain that Justice Ginsburg found so incomprehensible in Golan v. Holder.

Here is an excerpt.  For those of you impatient to cut to the chase, the bolded section at the end gives Hugo’s views on the public domain.  [NB: this is a free translation -- Hugo was a florid speaker.  I've tried to reproduce the force of his speech using italics and other forms of emphasis that are not in the original. And of course the bolded section is courtesy of me. Lector beware]

Excerpts from the speech of Victor Hugo to the Congress of Literary, Industrial and Artistic Property, Paris, 1878.  [Emphases added]

Literary property is of general utility.

All the old monarchical laws denied and still deny literary property. For what purpose?  For the purpose of control. The writer-owner is a free writer. To take his property, is to take away his independence. One wishes that it were not so. [That is the danger in] the remarkable fallacy, which would be childish if it were not so perfidious,  “thought belongs to everyone, so it cannot be property, so literary property does not exist.”  What a strange confusion!  First, to confuse the ability to think, which is general, with the thought, which is individual; my thought is me.  Then, to confuse thought, an abstract thing, with the book, a material thing. The thought of the writer, as thought, evades the grasping hand.   It flies from soul to soul; it has this gift and this force — virum volitare per ora — that it is everywhere on the lips of men.  But the book is distinct from the thought; as a book, it is “seizable,” so much so that it is sometimes “seized.” [impounded, censored, pirated.] (Laughter.)

The book, a product of printing,  belongs to industry and is the foundation, in all its forms, of a large commercial enterprise. It is  bought and sold; it is a form of property, a value created, uncompensated, a form of riches added by the writer to the national wealth.   Indeed, all must agree, this is the most compelling form of property.

Despotic governments violate this property right; they confiscate the book, hoping thus to confiscate the writer. Hence the system of royal pensions. [Pensions for writers, in the place of author’s rights] Take away everything and give back a pittance! This is the attempt to dispossess and to subjugate the writer. One steals, and then one buys back a fragment of what one has stolen. It is a wasted effort, however. The writer always escapes. We became poor, he remains free. (Applause) Who could buy these great minds, Rabelais, Molière, Pascal? But the attempt is nonetheless made ​, and the result is dismal. Monarchic patronage sucks at the vital forces of the nation. Historians give Kings the title the “father of the nation” and “fathers of letters;….. the result? These two sinister facts: people without bread, Corneille [the great French author] without shoes. (Long applause).
Gentlemen, let us return to the basic principle: respect for property. Create a system of literary property, but at the same time, create the public domain! Let us go further. Let us expand the idea.  The law could give to all publishers the right to publish any book after the death of the author, the only requirement would be to pay the direct heirs a very low fee, which in no case would exceed five or ten percent of the net profit. This simple system, which combines the unquestionable property of the writer with the equally incontestable right of the public domain was suggested by the 1836 commission [on the rights of authors]; and you can find this solution, with all its details, in the minutes of the board, then published by the Ministry of the Interior.

The principle is twofold, do not forget. The book, as a book, belongs to the author, but as a thought, it  belongs – the word is not too extreme – to the human race. All intelligences, all minds, are eligible, all own it. If one of these two rights, the right of the writer and the right of the human mind, were to be sacrificed, it would certainly be the right of the writer, because the public interest is our only concern, and that must take precedence in anything that comes before us.  [Numerous sounds of approval.]But, as I just said, this sacrifice is not necessary.

I am against the idea of a “paying public domain”  — but I will note that Hugo’s proposal is many ways more radical than any current orphan works legislation.  Not just in its details — replacing property rule with liability rule — but in its premises, which people often forget.  Yes, he was relying on the familiar idea-expression distinction, which no American lawyer would deny.  The author owns the expression.  The public gets free access to the idea.  And this is in fact one of the most brilliant parts of our copyright system.   But look more closely.  He was also firmly resting intellectual property on a public interest foundation and he was focused on  access to the public domain — to the actual expression, the books,  not just idea — front and center.  That is why he suggests the idea of any publisher being able to reprint any book.  Would that we had such a system for orphan works — even if not for works in the public domain.  Here, by contrast, is Justice Ginsburg who — we are told — comes from a society with a more moderate, balanced, and less absolute form of copyright…  She is writing the majority opinion in a case about taking works out of the public domain and putting them back under copyright.

As petitioners put it in this Court, Congress impermissibly revoked their right to exploit foreign works that “belonged to them” once the works were in the public domain.  To copyright lawyers, the “vested rights” formulation might sound exactly backwards: Rights typically vest at the outset of copyright protection, in an author or rightholder. See, e.g., 17 U.S.C. § 201(a) (“Copyright in a work protected . . . vests initially in the author. . . .”). Once the term of protection ends, the works do not revest in any rightholder. Instead, the works simply lapse into the public domain. See, e.g., Berne, Art. 18(1), 828 U.N.T.S., at 251 (“This Convention shall apply to all works which . . . have not yet fallen into the public domain. . . .”). Anyone has free access to the public domain, but no one, after the copyright term has expired, acquires ownership rights in the once-protected works.

But perhaps there are forms of public right other than ownership.  Hugo understood that point.  It is a shame we no longer do so. ” If one of these two rights, the right of the writer and the right of the human mind, were to be sacrificed, it would certainly be the right of the writer, because the public interest is our only concern, and that must take precedence in anything that comes before us.  [Numerous sounds of approval.]But, as I just said, this sacrifice is not necessary.”  But what of the cases — orphan works are only one example — where the author gets nothing, but the public is impoverished?

Back to writing the casebook!

 

School of Open’s CC4Kids at the Code4CT Maker Party

Creative Commons, July 18, 2014 08:12 PM   License: Attribution 3.0 Unported

Code4CT girls with cc4kids certificates
Code4CT girls with cc4kids certificates / Kelsey Wiens / CC BY

#Code4CT is a three-week training program from Innovate South Africa with twenty-four grade 10 and 11 girls from Centre for Science and Technology (COSAT) in Khayelitsha (Cape Town, South Africa). The three-week course consists of sessions on how the web works and actively participating in building web content. Running over the girls winter school break, they learn about the design process, HTML and CSS programming languages – skills they use to build WordPress sites for their clients. The girls then take their new skills and create mobile sites for local community organizations to benefit their communities.

We were lucky enough to be invited with Obami (learning platform) to test out the School of Open CC4Kids program. The program was funded through a Creative Commons Affiliate Project Grant. We have run the course through a self-study platform but this was the first time running it in real life. We were inspired by how quickly the girls took to the course content. The course’s modules focus on basics of Copyright and CC licenses – by the end of the hour, the girls were creating their own CC licensed material!

It was an inspiring day. A highlight of the day was the girls remixing the Pharrell Williams dance steps from “Happy” as a remix exercise Hack the Happy Dance. We are also attending their “pitch” sessions today to see what mobile apps they designed.

Thanks to Code4CT and Mozilla for the opportunity to be part of Maker Party! And stay tuned for more Maker Parties to be hosted by us and other CC/School of Open volunteers as part of the School of Open Africa Launch in August and September.


About Maker Party

School of Open and Creative Commons is excited to be partnering with Mozilla to celebrate teaching and learning the web with Maker Party. Through thousands of community-run events around the world, Maker Party unites educators, organizations and enthusiastic Internet users of all ages and skill levels.

We share Mozilla’s belief that the web is a global public resource that’s integral to modern life: it shapes how we learn, how we connect and how we communicate. But many of us don’t understand its basic mechanics or what it means to be a citizen of the web. That’s why we’re supporting this global effort to teach web literacy through hands-on learning and making with Maker Party.

About the School of Open

SOO-logo-100x100

The School of Open is a global community of volunteers focused on providing free education opportunities on the meaning, application, and impact of “openness” in the digital age and its benefit to creative endeavors, education, and research. Volunteers develop and run online courses, offline workshops, and real world training programs on topics such as Creative Commons licenses, open educational resources, and sharing creative works. The School of Open is coordinated by Creative Commons and P2PU, a peer learning community for developing and running free online courses.

European Commission endorses CC licenses as best practice for public sector content and data

Creative Commons, July 17, 2014 06:08 PM   License: Attribution 3.0 Unported

Today the European Commission released licensing recommendations to support the reuse of public sector information in Europe. In addition to providing guidance on baseline license principles for public sector content and data, the guidelines suggest that Member States should adopt standardized open licenses – such as Creative Commons licenses:

Several licences that comply with the principles of ‘openness’ described by the Open Knowledge Foundation to promote unrestricted re-use of online content, are available on the web. They have been translated into many languages, centrally updated and already used extensively worldwide. Open standard licences, for example the most recent Creative Commons (CC) licences (version 4.0), could allow the re-use of PSI without the need to develop and update custom-made licences at national or sub-national level. Of these, the CC0 public domain dedication is of particular interest. As a legal tool that allows waiving copyright and database rights on PSI, it ensures full flexibility for re-users and reduces the complications associated with handling numerous licences, with possibly conflicting provisions.

The Commission’s recommendations warn against the the development of customized licenses, which could break interoperability of public sector information across the EU. The guidelines clearly state that license conditions should be standardized and contain minimal requirements (such as attribution-only).

In order to proactively promote the re-use of the licenced material, it is advisable that the licensor grants worldwide (to the extent allowed under national law), perpetual, royalty-free, irrevocable (to the extent allowed under national law) and non-exclusive rights to use the information covered by the licence… it is advisable that [licenses] cover attribution requirements only, as any other obligations may limit licensees’ creativity or economic activity, thereby affecting the re-use potential of the documents in question.

This is a welcome outcome that will hopefully provide a clear path for data providers and re-users. It’s great to see this endorsement after our efforts alongside our affiliate network to advocate for clear best practices in sharing of content and data. The recommendation benefits from CC’s free international 4.0 licenses, saving governments time and money, and maximizing compatibility and reuse.

Kudos to the Commission and the assistance provided by LAPSI, Open Knowledge, and others.

Michael Carroll to Congress: “Copyrights have to expire.”

Creative Commons, July 17, 2014 05:22 PM   License: Attribution 3.0 Unported

This week, Creative Commons US lead and CC board member Michael Carroll addressed the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet. In his address, he emphasized that the success of Creative Commons tools doesn’t eliminate the need for copyright reform; it underscores it. He also laid out the case for why Congress should not extend copyright terms again.

Congress, copyrights have to expire. The constitution says so.

Congress’ power to grant the exclusive right to authors in their writings is for a limited time. That limited time currently lasts for the life of the author plus 70 years. From an economic perspective, to promote the progress of science means to provide a sufficient incentive for both the creator and the investors in the creative process to make a fair return on that investment. Life plus 70 is far longer than necessary to achieve that goal.

Professor Carroll’s testimony begins at 1:30:

Professor Carroll asked Congress to consider a move to the way copyright law in the US functioned prior to the Copyright Act of 1976, which went into effect in 1978. The pre-1978 system offered creators an initial term of 28 years and an option to opt in to a second 28-year term. You can read Professor Carroll’s written testimony on the Creative Commons US blog.

Correction: This post previously referred to the Copyright Act of 1976 as the Copyright Act of 1978. The Act passed in 1976 and went into effect on January 1, 1978.

WikiProject Open Barn Raising this Saturday

Creative Commons, July 16, 2014 05:15 PM   License: Attribution 3.0 Unported

WikiProject Open is an online School of Open training program for new and seasoned Wikipedia volunteers to collaborate on improving Wikipedia articles related to openness. The aim of the project is two-fold: in addition to improving Wikipedia articles related to openness (such as open access publishing and open educational resources), volunteers seek to improve Wikimedia content generally with the aid of openly licensed materials.

Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-54440-0001_Altgolßen_Bau_eines_Stalls_für_LPG_cropped
Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-54440-0001 / CC BY-SA

This Saturday, WikiProject Open’s Pete Forsyth and Sara Frank Bristow invite you to join their Barn Raising event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. U.S. Pacific Time, at the Oakland Impact Hub on 2323 Broadway, Oakland, California. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. You can also join the event online. Sara says:

“At the Barn Raising, we will focus on high priority Wikipedia articles: articles that are widely read, but that — despite ongoing efforts — remain poorly sourced, incomplete, or out of date. (In the wiki world, we often borrow the term “Barn Raising” to evoke the idea of a community coming together to build something substantial in a short time. It’s been described as a way to “make the impossible possible.”)

This event is open to all! Our goal is to make significant improvements to OER related articles; so those who are brand new to Wikipedia and/or open education might want to take a little time to prepare. We will send out helpful resources for beginners as the date gets closer.”

Register here.
Visit the wiki page here.

And read more about School of Open training programs here!


About the School of Open

SOO-logo-100x100

The School of Open is a global community of volunteers focused on providing free education opportunities on the meaning, application, and impact of “openness” in the digital age and its benefit to creative endeavors, education, and research. Volunteers develop and run online courses, offline workshops, and real world training programs on topics such as Creative Commons licenses, open educational resources, and sharing creative works. The School of Open is coordinated by Creative Commons and P2PU, a peer learning community for developing and running free online courses.

CCUSA Public Lead Michael Carroll’s Congressional Testimony on “Moral Rights, Termination Rights, Resale Royalty, and Copyright Term”

CC USA, July 15, 2014 02:07 PM   License: Attribution 3.0 United States

mc at carnegieMichael Carroll will testify today at 1:00 before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet on the topic “Moral Rights, Termination Rights, Resale Royalty, and Copyright Term.”  The full witness list for the hearing is available here.  The full text of Michael Carroll’s prepared statement (PDF) follows:

Chairman Coble, Ranking Member Nadler, Chairman Goodlatte, Ranking Member Conyers, and members of the Subcommittee, my name is Michael Carroll, and I am a member of the faculty at American University Washington College of Law, where I direct the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property and serve as the Public Lead for Creative Commons USA.  Creative Commons USA is the United States’ project that works under the terms of an agreement with Creative Commons, Inc., a global non-profit corporation headquartered in California.  Creative Commons has agreements with projects in more than 70 countries through which the local project is authorized to represent Creative Commons at the national level.  Creative Commons and Creative Commons USA have some experiences and legal tools that are relevant to the topics of today’s hearing.  Briefly, these are:

Creative Commons and Moral Rights

Creative Commons provides the public with a range of legal tools designed to promote the legal sharing and reuse of works of authorship.  Creative Commons offers six standardized copyright licenses that a copyright owner can choose to grant the public permission for royalty-free use subject to a range of conditions.  See https://creativecommons.org/licenses/ and Appendix A.

These licenses are recognized as the global standard for sharing works and are used by Wikipedia, open access journal publishers, creators of open courseware and open educational resources, bloggers, photographers, musicians, filmmakers, and every other kind of creator imaginable.  There are at least 500 million copyrighted works available under one of these Creative Commons licenses.

Users of Creative Commons licenses require attribution in exchange for permission to use their works of authorship, and this license term overlaps the moral right of attribution. The licensor waivers the remainder of her moral rights to the extent allowed under national law.  Originally, the suite of Creative Commons licenses treated attribution as an optional term.  However, when data showed that more than 98% of license adopters opted for the attribution requirement, Creative Commons made attribution a required term of all six licenses.  Other conditions that can be imposed are restricting use to non-commercial use, requiring that any derivative works produced from the licensed work are licensed under the same terms (the “Share Alike” term), or that the work can be shared but not modified.  A more detailed explanation of these licenses is attached as Appendix A.

In the experience of Creative Commons, creators have a strong interest in receiving attribution for their work, and this interest in some cases is more important to the creator than any interest in profit or compensation.  If Congress were to consider creating an exclusive right of attribution, doing so would be more difficult than may appear at first glance.  A quick summary of the kinds of issues that have arisen in the Creative Commons experience include what is the threshold creative contribution that must be made to receive an attribution right, how should attribution be given for works created in iterative and group settings, and must the attributing party specify who contributed what elements of the work of authorship when giving attribution?  These issues suggest that as strong as the attribution interest is, proper attribution is a contextual matter.

Creative Commons and Copyright Term

Creative Commons also provides two tools directly related to the term of copyright.  One is the CC0 (pronounced CC Zero) tool that enables copyright owners to effectively shorten the term of protection for their work by dedicating their copyright to the public domain. See http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/. The other is the Public Domain Mark, which is just a label that enables members of the public to mark works as having the full range of reuse freedom that comes when a work enters the public domain. See http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/mark/1.0/

CC0 has been used in a number of contexts, such as by a repository of public domain clipart, by creators of scientific databases, and by public bodies in countries that extend copyright to government works.

Creative Commons and the Termination Right

Exercising the termination right is overly cumbersome and confusing to many authors and their heirs.  Creative Commons created and hosts an Internet based tool still in its beta version that provides those with a potential termination right a means of assessing whether and when they may exercise their termination rights.  See http://labs.creativecommons.org/demos/termination/

Creative Commons did this to aid authors or heirs seeking to reclaim their copyrights for the purpose of sharing their works through a CC license.  In that regard, one obstacle is financial.  Even after an author or heir has run the administrative gantlet, termination is not effective until they pay the Copyright Office recordation fee of a minimum of $105 for one transaction and one title.  See U.S. Copyright Office, Calculating Fees for Recording Documents and Notices of Termination in the Copyright Office at http://www.copyright.gov/fls/sl4d.pdf. While modest for economically valuable copyrights like those in a character such as Superman, this recordation fee is potentially cost prohibitive for scholars, journalists, or others who have created and published many copyrighted works that they would like to share with the public through a Creative Commons license.

Creative Commons USA recommends that the Subcommittee consider a measure that would waive the recordation fee in cases in which the terminating party seeks to reclaim copyright for the purposes of making the work of authorship freely available over the Internet under the terms of an open license.

With this background, I now turn to the issue of copyright term that I was invited to address.

The Term of Copyright Is Too Long

From the public’s perspective, copyright is a trade-off.  It provides incentives for investors to supply funds for creative endeavors and for some professional creators to create new works.  But, copyright restrains freedom of expression and serves as a tax on the cost of purchasing educational, entertainment, and related expressive works. As the English parliamentarian Thomas Macauley recognized long ago, lengthening the term of copyright is economically equivalent to passing a tax increase:  “The principle of copyright is this. It is a tax on readers for the purpose of giving a bounty to writers.”

Focusing on the economic effects of copyright, the issue of copyright term is a question of how long the public should have to pay the copyright tax for any given creative work.  The general economic principle is that the term should be no longer than necessary to induce enough creators and enough investors to devote their efforts to creating and distributing new works of authorship. Recognizing this trade-off, the Founders, when granting Congress the power to create copyright law, also required that copyrights expire. Congress has specific power to enact copyright law for the purpose of “promot[ing] the progress of science and useful arts,” subject to the condition that the “exclusive right” that Congress gives to authors in their “writings” be only “for limited times.”  U.S. Const., art. I, § 8, cl. 8.

Under current law, copyright lasts for the life of the author plus another 70 years, or in the case of works made for hire, 120 years from the date of creation or 95 years from the date of publication.  As a group of leading economists, including five Nobel laureates, have shown this term is too long to serve copyright’s purposes because for all intents and purposes it is virtually equivalent to a perpetual term.  The proper time horizon for copyright is one that provides a meaningful incentive for creators and investors to create new works.  As these economists explained, profits that might be had many decades after an author is deceased are worth less than pennies on the dollar today and therefore cannot be said to be doing any work in promoting the progress of science and useful arts.

This is a problem.  There are three kinds of actions that Congress should consider to remedy this problem, or at least, not make it worse:

(1)    Shorten the term
(2)    Refuse to the lengthen the term any further
(3)    Require registration with the Copyright Office to enjoy the final 20 years of protection

A Shorter Term in the American Tradition

Ideally, Congress would reclaim the American tradition on copyright term and substantially reduce it, if the United States’ international copyright relations were not an issue. A good benchmark for doing so would be to consider reverting copyright term back to what it was prior enactment of the Copyright Act of 1976: an initial term of 28 years that could be renewed for another 28 years.

This policy had two beneficial features.  First, the term of protection was relatively easy to determine because it was based on a work’s date of publication. Second, the renewal requirement acted as a beneficial filter.  Works that retained economic value after the first 28 years of protection had their copyrights renewed.  Those that did not – and this was the majority of registered copyrighted works – were not renewed and went into the public domain.

However, our international copyright relations are a valid consideration that influences policy on copyright term. Congress lengthened the term in the 1976 Act with an eye toward one day joining the Berne Convention, a treaty of European origin reflecting the European model that, among other things, measured the term of protection by the life of the author plus 50 years. Joining the Berne Convention would confer some benefits on some American authors, but it would do so by imposing an increase in the copyright tax on the American public. Congress then passed a copyright tax increase in 1998 when it enacted the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998, Tit. I, Pub. L. No. 105-298, 112 Stat. 2827 (Oct. 27, 1998), which extended the term of copyrights both prospectively and retrospectively for an additional 20 years.

Extending the term of existing copyrights was the basis for a constitutional challenge in the Supreme Court on the basis that doing so violated the free speech rights of the public and violated the principles of limited government because the Constitution authorizes Congress to grant copyrights only for “limited times,” and retrospective extensions of term are a means of granting, in the words of my colleague Peter Jaszi, a perpetual term “on the installment plan.” Over two vigorous dissents, the Court rejected this argument, deciding that Congress had the power to extend copyright’s term. Eldred v. Ashcroft, 537 U.S. 186 (2003).

No More Extensions

At a minimum, Congress should not lengthen the term of copyright any further.  The Court in Eldred posed the constitutional question as whether Congress had a rational basis for extending the term of copyright for an additional 20 years.  But even a rational basis does not make term extension good policy.  For all of the reasons expressed in Justice Breyer’s dissenting opinion in Eldred, 537 U.S. at 242, which I hereby incorporate by reference, extending the term of copyright imposes a series of harms on the public that are not justified by any offsetting benefits.

Specifically, there is no incentive based support for term extension. See Eldred, 537 U.S. at 256-57 (Breyer, J., dissenting). Term extension did not provide the claimed benefits of uniformity, and going forward this argument would be without basis because we already have acquiesced in the European version of copyright term. And, arguments about longer lifespans actually undermine the case for any term extension rather than supporting it.  See id. at 263.

I should also note that the public has become much more aware of the costs of overly long copyrights than it was in 1998. The problem of orphan works has become exacerbated, and it frustrates the ability of those who would make older copyrighted works available over the Internet to do so. Were Congress to entertain proposals to extend the term of copyright, it should expect vigorous opposition. As evidence, consider the open letter that opposes the United States’ proposal to include in the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement a term requiring all parties to extend their terms to life + 70.  The letter was signed six days ago on July 9, 2014, by a broad coalition of creators and users of copyrighted works organized by the Electronic Frontier Foundation that was sent to negotiators working on the See https://www.eff.org/files/2014/07/08/copyrightterm_tppletter_print-fnl.pdf

A Middle Ground – the Public Domain Enhancement Act

As a middle ground between the American tradition of fixed copyright terms, and the European model of life of the author plus a number of years, I would support the reintroduction of the Public Domain Enhancement Act. First co-sponsored by Representative Lofgren and Doolittle in 2003, H.R. 2601, 108th Cong., and then reintroduced in 2005, H.R. 2408, 109th Cong., the bill in its last form would have required that for works first published in the United States, after the term of the life of the author plus 50 years had passed, the copyright owner seeking the next 10 years of protection up to the maximum term would have to renew the copyright by paying $1 and filing the requisite paperwork with the U.S. Copyright Office. Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante spoke in favor of this proposal when she testified before this Subcommittee. This proposal complies with the United States’ international obligations while also addressing the costs of an overly long copyright term by asking copyright owners to signal that they still value copyright protection by renewing it at a more than reasonable cost.